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At Greer Automotive Services, we believe there are no shortcuts or compromises when it comes to a brake repairs. As an integral safety feature of any vehicle, extreme care should be taken when diagnosing, inspecting or replacing any braking component.
How do brakes work? Modern vehicles primarily use disc brakes, a disc brake assembly consists of a metal disc, two brake pads and a hydraulic caliper. The disc brake is a lot like the brakes on a bicycle. Bicycle brakes have a caliper, which squeezes the brake pads against the wheel. In a disc brake, the brake pads squeeze the rotor instead of the wheel, and the force is transmitted hydraulically instead of through a cable. Friction between the pads and the disc slows the disc down.
A moving car has a certain amount of kinetic energy, and the brakes have to remove this energy from the car in order to stop it. How do the brakes do this? Each time you stop your car, your brakes convert the kinetic energy to heat generated by the friction between the pads and the disc. Most car disc brakes are vented. Vented disc brakes have a set of vanes, between the two sides of the disc, that pumps air through the disc to provide cooling.
What is included?
Changing the Pads: The most common type of brake repairs are changing the pads. Disc brake pads usually have a piece of metal on them called a wear indicator or an electrical sensor called a brake sensor. When enough of the friction material is worn away, the wear indicator or sensor will contact the disc and make a squealing sound or illuminate a warning lamp on the dashboard. This means it is time for new brake pads.
Sometimes, deep scores get worn into disc rotors. This can happen if a worn-out brake pad is left on the car for too long. Disc rotors can also warp; that is, lose their flatness. If this happens, the brakes may shudder or vibrate when you stop. Both of these problems can be fixed by replacing the disc rotors and brake pads.
Brake Fluid: Braking systems aren’t indestructible. Parts, like the rubber in the valves in the master cylinder, calipers and wheel cylinders deteriorate. All the nasty little bits that flake off end up in your brake fluid. Plus, the fluid itself can get old and worn out. Moisture can also get in the system. That leads to rust, which leads to more nasty bits in your brake fluid. All this adds up to a brake system with compromised effectiveness and decreased stopping power.
A good rule of thumb is to have your brakes flushed about every 20,000 km or Two years. Note that brake flushing and bleeding the brakes are two different procedures. Brake flushing involves removing all the brake fluid from the system and getting all-new, clean fluid inside. Brake bleeding just means removing enough brake fluid to get air bubbles out of the brake lines. So, make sure you get your brakes flushed regularly.
- Pull: Vehicle pulls to one side when brakes are applied. This can happen for a few reasons. The most common cause is from faulty hydraulics or brakes in need of replacement.
- Hard Pedal: Hydraulic brakes require extreme pressure to operate. A hard pedal can indicate power brake faults, restricted hydraulic lines, frozen calipers or wheel cylinders.
- Brake Warning Lights: Red indicates an immediate problem, it could be as simple as the parking brake is applied or as severe as a hydraulic system failure. The vehicle should not be driven until rectification. Amber indicates a possible deactivation of your ABS system or low brake lining material. The vehicle can still be driven, it is advised brake repairs be completed as soon as possible.
- Vibration: Brake pedal, steering wheel or entire vehicle shakes, vibrates or pulsates when brake is applied. This may indicate a brake disc rotor fault.
- Squeal: Brakes should operate with a minimal amount of noise. Some noise is normal but excessive squeal, screech, grinding, groaning, chatter, clatter or bang means your brakes need servicing.
- Low Pedal: Pedal nearly touches floorboard before the brakes function. This may activate your brake warning light. Problem may require a simple adjustment – or indicate something much more serious.
If you are experiencing any of the above brake symptoms don’t wait until it’s too late. Call Greer Automotive Services today for your brake repairs.